Using Rails to Generate static pages

Hi all,

Has anyone ever thought about or implemented a way to use Rails to pull
content from a database and actually generate static html pages from
view
templates?

I want to throw a bunch of content into a db using rails and then put
all
my website templates into the views dir and write the files out with the
content inside.

The funny thing is that the html pages Rails normally outputs to the
browser
are html with some funny memory/db address locations in there where you
think text is… go ahead, look at some of the pages your apps spit
out – stuff like <%Controller:12357643> etc… is in there

Any ideas about how I could output static pages please post!

Thanks

Chris E.


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Isn’t rails a framework for SOME web apps … maybe this does fit
inside
the rails framework… I think this belong only to ERb … and I have to
do
this once but I implement it with java servlets.

When you turn on Caching, Rails writes static pages to a subdirectory
of /public/ so it’s already baked in there…


Timothy J.
www.foundinteractive.com

Chris E. (CBL) skrev:

Hi all,

Has anyone ever thought about or implemented a way to use Rails to pull
content from a database and actually generate static html pages from view
templates?

I want to throw a bunch of content into a db using rails and then put all
my website templates into the views dir and write the files out with the
content inside.

Yes, I have. It requires a bit hacking though. A site is built by a
number of nodes, a node can be a page, an image, a file etc. Each node
type inherit from Node and Node has an empty publish(). Every node is
then responsible for writing itself to file while publishing. For
example PageNode:

def publish(options = {})
context_node = get_context_node(options)
path = publish_path(options)
result = yield(page.page_template.content,
:view_mode => “publish”,
:page_node => context_node,
:page => page,
:view_node => context_node)
File.open(path, “wb”) do |file|
file.write(result)
end
my_path = publish_path(:website_node => (options[:website_node] ||
find_website_node))
if(path != my_path)
File.open(my_path, “wb”) do |file|
file.write(result)
end
end
end

The content of the PageNode is held (and accessed) through the page
attribute. The node is only for site structure. This in turn is called
from a publish job (a remote Drb service) or from a controller.
publish() is called the follwoing way:

    ...
    node.publish(options) { |template, vars|
      vars.each_key { |key|
        self.instance_eval("@#{key} = vars[key]")
      }
      begin
        render_template(template)
      rescue => e
        msg = "Error while rendering node #{node_id} with ERb,

#{e}\n#{e.backtrace.join("\n")}"
err = true
end
}

def render_template(template)
erb_template = ERB.new(template)
erb_template.result(binding)
end

By “passing in” the ERB template using a block I could call it directly
from a controller as well altough that would violate DRY in this case.
To get the variables “inside” the template I need to bind the variables
put inside the vars hash (that happens when doing
self.instance_eval(…)). This hash is created (or passed into) the
publish() method in every Node instance. The result from the merging of
the template (ie the rendered page) is passed back from the block to the
calling node intstance (PageNode in this case) and is ready for file
write (and then possibly a transfer with FTP (we do at least…))

I know this isn’t in the Rails sweetspot. But all administration of the
sites is way inside the Rails sweetspot so that makes up (by far) for
this not being inside it.

/Marcus

hello, so is there an ‘easy’ way to generate static html pages from a
rails site?

where does one turn on the ‘caching’ option? must i visit each link
manually to create each static page?

Wow. you lost me a bit there with the ERB template concept. I wish it
were
simpler so I could just write the resulting html page to a file. My
idea is
that since I’m not going to do any logic in the ERb template, I can take
an
html template and replace content areas with instance variables and the
controller will pull the content from the appropriate table row and put
it
into the output file.

anyone think that might actually work? :slight_smile:


Chris

----- Original Message -----
From: “Marcus A.” [email protected]
To: “Chris E. (CBL)” [email protected];
[email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, June 27, 2006 2:15 AM
Subject: Re: [Rails] Using Rails to Generate static pages

Chris E. (CBL) skrev:

Hi all,

Has anyone ever thought about or implemented a way to use Rails to pull
content from a database and actually generate static html pages from
view

templates?

I want to throw a bunch of content into a db using rails and then put
all
context_node = get_context_node(options)
find_website_node))
publish() is called the follwoing way:
#{e}\n#{e.backtrace.join("\n")}"
By “passing in” the ERB template using a block I could call it directly
sites is way inside the Rails sweetspot so that makes up (by far) for
this not being inside it.

/Marcus


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bbqTree wrote:

hello, so is there an ‘easy’ way to generate static html pages from a
rails site?

Caching.

where does one turn on the ‘caching’ option?

See http://api.rubyonrails.com/classes/ActionController/Caching.html.

must i visit each link
manually to create each static page?

Yes, but you could of course use wget -r or something like that.

Chris E. (CBL) wrote:

The funny thing is that the html pages Rails normally outputs to the
browser
are html with some funny memory/db address locations in there where you
think text is… go ahead, look at some of the pages your apps spit
out – stuff like <%Controller:12357643> etc… is in there

No, it isn’t.

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